As Beauty Director of O, The Oprah Magazine, the question I get most often is, “What’s a good way to take care of my skin as I get older?” I get it—you don’t want to erase every single line or wrinkle on your face. You just want to look healthy and radiant. And with so many products out there, it’s tough to cut through the clutter and figure out what works.
But I have a secret: There are only a handful of ingredients and techniques that can really do something to improve your skin. These tips, along with steadfast commitment to your skincare regimen, can help reduce some of your most pressing skin concerns. Remember, skincare is a marathon, not a sprint. So suit up—let’s do this.
Use Products With Powerful Ingredients
My daily skin routine is pared down to only include potent products and essential steps. I like products that have heft with effective ingredients and research behind them, such as the StriVectin Wrinkle Recode Line Transforming Melting Serum.
What makes it such a secret weapon is its all-star list of line-fighting ingredients and melting serum texture—which I like a lot. It’s midway between an oil and a gel, so it has a nice slip to it and spreads over my skin very well, but absorbs quickly and I don’t feel greasy when I use it during the day.
The Wrinkle Recode Serum is infused with the brand’s proprietary NIA-114—their patented, oil-soluble form of niacin that, according to the brand, has been proven to rebuild the skin barrier (which can mean less apparent lines and wrinkles). StriVectin also claims that you can see Wrinkle Recode’s wrinkle fighting effects in as little as seven days.
As if all that weren’t effective enough, the serum’s BioRecode technology—which is formulated from lightweight, hydrating oils—does even more to help reduce signs of aging. The calendula extract within it helps with cell regeneration, says cosmetic chemist Ginger King. “The dhatelo oil in the formula is rich in omega-6 and 9, which nourishes skin, and the macadamia oil helps further boost skin recovery,” she adds.
Pair Your SPF with Antioxidants
I’m a dedicated sunscreen user because every dermatologist I’ve spoken too has told me that it’s one of the best anti-aging products. Dr. Bhanusali explains that age-related skin concerns such as collagen loss are accelerated by the sun’s UV rays (which promote free-radical damage), which is why sunscreen is a crucial step for every skincare routine.
Pro tip: Both dermatologist Dr. Hadley King and I recommend pairing your SPF with an antioxidant-heavy serum or moisturizer. “Topical antioxidants like vitamin C are helpful in protecting the skin from free radical damage, most notably UV rays and pollution,” Dr. Hadley King says. “When combined with sunscreen, antioxidants have been shown to provide more sun protection compared to SPF alone.”
Exfoliating regularly becomes even more important as you get older. As our skin ages, its natural process of sloughing off those dead skin cells naturally slows down. Anything you can do to speed that up will help your skin look brighter, smoother, and glowier. Dr. Hadley King explains that exfoliating boosts cell turnover and can increase epidermal thickness over time. “Both of which can help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” she says.
I opt for a chemical exfoliant as part of my morning routine, but remember that every skin type is different and some are better off with less-frequent use of acids or scrubs. Hadley King recommends starting slow and steady to see how much your skin can handle. “For both chemical and physical exfoliation, start with once or twice a week when you’re adding it to your routine,” she says. “If you’re tolerating it well, increase the frequency gradually.”
Lock In Moisture
Locking in moisture with a layer of face oil or a thick face cream is a key part of my routine. The logic is simple: When your skin is more hydrated, it has a plumper, healthier appearance. Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, says that a moisturizer’s “plumping” effect can help visually fill in lines and improve the appearance of wrinkles. And, adds Bhanusali: “The more moisture, the better the integrity of your skin barrier.”
An added bonus of the extra hydration is how it can help soothe and protect skin from irritation caused by retinol—a vitamin A derivative commonly used in anti-aging routines to help visibly smooth lines and diminish dark spots—according to Ginger King.
Use a Chilled Roller
For an instantly refreshed appearance, try stashing a jade or cryo roller (a roller meant to mimic the effects of cryotherapy facials) in your freezer and using it as a prep step for your makeup. Jade and cryo rollers, especially when used cold, have a great immediate effect. When you massage them into your cheekbone or under your eyes, you get a nice visual lift and instant brightness.
Zeichner explains that cool temperatures “constrict blood vessels, calm inflammation, and eliminate excess fluid to improve the overall appearance of the skin.” Bhanusali credits the (temporary) lifted look to lymphatic massage, which can help decrease puffiness. In case you don’t want to spring for a jade or cryo roller, he says stashing a spoon in the fridge and using it to do the same motions works just as well.
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